While Generation 9 of Pokemon has made some excellent strides in quality-of-life features and a few other overall gameplay improvements, it has done little to revive forgotten features. With new regions come new gimmicks, and history repeats itself as new replaces old seemingly indefinitely.
Gen 9 stands out as the first true open-world generation of Pokemon. With this title came a rocky start, bugs everywhere, and a world that was hardly able to be explored without falling into endless pits or witnessing some unusual landscapes. Empty towns devoid of places to explore are the stain on Gen 9’s reputation long after the bugs that first gave the developers trouble got patched away.
Gen 9 could use a final sendoff with the final expansion that carts us into the long wait for Gen 10. Below, we’ll explain why Triple Battles, a mechanic we haven’t seen in quite a long time, could bring the final hurrah to the Indigo Disc and why it could spell good things for the future of Pokemon.
AOE Moves Become More Effective
Triple Battles are a huge shakeup from just Single and Double Battles. They provide an entirely new chemistry within Pokemon battles and new strategies and tactics that don’t work in the Single or Double battles that Paldea and its DLC have had so far. Bringing in something new for this generation would be the perfect way to cap it off, introducing the player base to the concept before the next game’s waiting period.
Triple Battles offer a different scope because most moves act differently under those circumstances. Moves like Earthquake and other AOE moves are much more effective, hitting more than just two Pokemon at once. This battle dynamic improvement would bring a vital new spirit to the DLC that helps it stand apart from what we’ve gotten so far in Paldea and Kitikami.
The Game Becomes Inadvertently Harder
If there’s anything that Pokemon could use in general, it’s a dab of difficulty. While still primarily marketed towards children, the games have become annoyingly easy and hand-holdy over the years. While no one is looking for a hard-as-rocks game out of a franchise like Pokemon, some meat for those with the chops to take it certainly wouldn’t go amiss for at least a sizable chunk of the fandom.
Triple Battles offer a subtle way to improve the difficulty of the game without even getting level scaling involved. These sorts of battles always harbor six Pokemon teams; if you want to have your Trainer switch anything out, that is. If the developers wanted to ensure that younger players aren’t soft-locked out of the rest of the experience, they could provide some test runs of the formula for players by having Triple Battles with only three Pokemon involved.
Opportunity to Up the Ante
One of the best features of Pokemon in previous generations was the ability the story and pacing had to up the ante, so to speak. This means raising the stakes and placing harsh battles and difficult circumstances around important events in the story. This is displayed in many different ways across Pokemon generations, such as with the final battle against Ghestis in Pokemon Black and White or the Necrozma fight in Pokemon Ultra Sun and Moon. These two fights did exactly what upping the ante describes, pairing a high-stakes event with a deliciously difficult fight.
Triple Battles could be just the vehicle for such an occasion, making an entire Gym full of normal battles while the Gym Leader, or perhaps your rival or an evil team Leader, has a Triple Battle to really test your strength towards the end. If you’re the kind of Pokemon Trainer who doesn’t like to heal in the middle of a Gym challenge or long stretch away from a Pokemon Center, this exact upping of the ante is perfect to be the cherry on the top for a wonderful challenge. Even if the entire game isn’t difficult, these little moments of difficulty make a world of difference to an older audience.
It Slows the Pace
Because Indigo Disc is a DLC that seems to focus on battling, it may go faster than we think it will. The Teal Mask, while relatively good, was a shorter experience. And while nobody expects DLC for Pokemon to feel like a full game, there are a few ways to stretch the experience out that developers have yet to use. Triple Battles, or any other battle beside a Single Battle, is one of these built-in ways to slow the pacing down by a good margin.
Pokemon, as a formula, thrives when you have the player bounce between story and bouts of battles, equally hip-hopping between the two to create a nice, balanced, well-paced experience for everyone. Triple Battles, and even Double Battles, naturally take longer to unfold than your average Single Battle, which is why they would both make excellent tools for elongating the playtime of the DLC. Reserving them for important foes, like rivals, enemies, and Gym Leaders, makes it all the more subtle as a pacing device.
It Brings Stall and Setup Opportunities
Another aspect of Triple Battles to consider is the strategies behind stalling and setting up Pokemon. Being the second round of DLC in Generation 9, Indigo Disc can take a little leeway with difficulty and how high it can spike. While making the game incredibly difficult would isolate some of Pokemon’s audience, introducing a few of the competitive key concepts wouldn’t hurt at all.
Triple Battles make the stall and set-up strategies much easier to pull off, demanding a certain level of strategic response from the player. Spikes, Poison Spikes, and Stockpile methods certainly wouldn’t be a bane to implement into the Trainers that you fight as part of Indigo Disc. In fact, it might help the next generation of Trainers prepare more solidly for the competitive scene before they march online with a mono-fire team and no strategy.